Indians could have settled South America 18 thousand years ago

(ORDO NEWS) — Argentine paleogenetics found that South America could have been settled at least 18,000 years ago, long before the first North American Indian cultures appeared.

Until recently, historians assumed that the ancestors of modern Indians moved to the territory now occupied by the United States from Southern Siberia and Altai.

In their opinion, this happened about 14-15 thousand years ago during a single wave of migration.

Subsequent archaeological discoveries and the deciphering of the DNA of some ancient Indians have shown that this was in fact not the case.

Now scientists believe that the ancestors of the Indians came to the territory of the New World as a result of at least three or even four waves of migration.

All of them occurred at different times and began from different sources, the nature of which geneticists and archaeologists have been trying to uncover in the past 20 years.

History of settlement in the New World

A group of paleogeneticists has identified the genetic traces of another wave of migration of the ancestors of the Indians.

To do this, they studied fragments of the genome extracted from the remains of the ancient inhabitants of South America.

Scientists were interested in the Y chromosome, which is passed from father to son. This feature allows you to track family ties, reveal the paths and history of migrations of peoples by comparing sets of small mutations in the Y chromosome. In total, scientists analyzed 102 samples.

The analysis pointed to the existence of two previously unknown subgroups of haplogroup Q, which includes all modern autochthonous peoples of South and Central America.

Subgroups Q-Z780 and Q-Z781 are the most ancient Y-chromosome variations in Latin America, whose carriers were close relatives of the ancient inhabitants of the Middle East and East Asia.

According to scientists, these people entered the future Latin America about 19.3-18 thousand years ago, long before the appearance of the most ancient cultures of the North American Indians.

Subsequently, representatives of the haplogroups Q-Z780 and Q-Z781 almost completely disappeared, which scientists attribute to the Dryas cooling.

It could be caused by the fall of a comet 12.8 thousand years ago. This event caused new waves of migration and complicated the history of the settlement of the New World.

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